we could both go golden

if my last day would perish
so beautifully as this,

I would not mind at all

we could both go golden then,
full of road and sky moments

me following this light,
lighter and no longer envious

of “as the crow flies”

© Sarah Whiteley

Photo taken east of Snoqualmie Pass overlooking Cle Elum Lake

an array of days

we all of us
have a small array
of days
(how small, how)
some much more so
than others
and were we/I able
(un-blinded by-the-by)
to see them stretch
we would be numbed
(benumbed) to find
stretching for ever
(never, but nevermind)
once we awake
(we still sleepers)
from our sleeping days
we can but
intoxicate ourselves
with every blessed breath
(still breathing, still unstill)
each day, that small array,
a sharp stab
of/into joy
(a stark contrast)
to the blurred edges
of the days before
when we knew/know
nothing more
of forever than
the myth forever
(how small, how)
the array
of our/my days

© Sarah Whiteley


I could not come to you unbroken –
just as day breaks herself brightly
upon the crests of dark rises
and every day the earth turns
to give her credence
and then turns again away
while she spills into oblivion –
but like her I gather
in soundless profundity
the offered hours in piles
against the rise of tides,
the turning earth,
to gird this fragile machinery
to which we are bound –
I could not come to you unbroken
yet I surrender the pieces
which suit best the beat of you
and wait once more for morning

© Sarah Whiteley

at peace

it’s been a year, my dear,
since I shut the garden gate behind
and shooed the wounded dreams away
to trail mournful after happenstance
and the ungraceful slant of those days

no more than small disturbances now
they rustle upon the edges of my feathers
and along the bending tips of my grass
there are no buzzings of bees here
but life, in cat-soft callings ’round the corner,
beckons of fingers held in absentia
and sings of the raveled strings
the intangible things that keep me tethered here
and bound to breathing

mistake not my thanks for fidelity
for I am adroitly adrift
and drift on I shall as vagabond leaves
those flutterings of a different sort
left me out of sorts and circling then
with all its brass-caged “ifs”
I leave their scattered clamorings behind the gate
I rise, I glide, I shifting sift
like last light’s slow-measured lilting
through branches that waver quavery
in the dreamy greens of settling dusk

a year, dear, and I am softer than the silence
unfolding from the star-tilted skies
and sweeter even than the honeysuckle sliver
of the moon that follows me home
and nests in the corner of my window

© Sarah Whiteley

And wham it came upon me – that urge to write. I think for now the lull has passed.

after stillness

for a second,
and the stillness
of stars waiting
and after stillness,
what then beyond
this arrested breath?
what then after
the suspended beating
from quiet breast?
what remembrance moon?
or trees that grew
beyond these windows?
or flowers passed
on pebbled paths
through sweetly scented
after these walls,
but then
I recall the fall
of kisses
the fondness
of hands that hold
all the promises
and the premise
of tomorrows
so what then?
you lean down
and murmur,
soft-lipped and smiling
for a second,
and the stillness
of stars waiting
and after stillness?

© Sarah Whiteley

a song of home

song in silvery descent
beats in sweet repeats
the tug of lodestones,
the clamant lure
of westward-leading
winding winds,
I sing the binding beck
of springing grove
and blooming troves of heather,
let the tune renew
the sweet enchantments
the road has written
upon my straying shade,
in engaging turns,
in immeasurable measure,
render the notes that lead
back beyond between
to that garden without walls
and the elemental charm
of the wanderer wending home

© Sarah Whiteley

in the end

when these hands
rest together still
blanched as paper
beneath poised pen
when these feet
have rounded
every blessed bend
and are raised in repose
when I am no longer
quiet with potential
but only quiet
tongue held by the time
no longer ticking
through my veins
when thoughts are final
no longer fleeting
when words
no longer scurry
to the page
and the notes
no longer sound
the limitless walls
of beautiful minds
let them at least say
something lovely
I have left
be it the blaze
of a blinding sun
or a whisper
against the dark
in the end
let beauty
lie behind

© Sarah Whiteley

common courtesy

is it too much to ask
Yesterday to wipe its feet
at the door before entering
or Time to hang its
shadowy coat upon the hook
on the back of my door
I don’t much care for the traces
tracked across the floor
or the dark reminders draped
over the back of my chair
so if you please,
show a little common courtesy
and Tomorrow, when you ring the bell
a warming gift, perhaps merlot,
would not be remiss
Death, I do apologize,
your invite must have been
misplaced in the mail

© Sarah Whiteley


crow night’s star-dusted feathers
drape her blue-black whisperings
covering over the green of gloaming
in the absence of light
I fall to forgetting
eyes tight-closed against
the possibility of loss
feather-tipped unknowing
brushes away the dust of hope
nothing gold can stay?
then I pray in the wake
of crow night’s flight
as she drags her wings across the sky
let me be dark-tarnished
by my lust for living, love of breath,
my over-attachment to my own skin
and how its pores open
to every dream, every wish imagined
when it lies against his
let me not be cold sparkling
as the stars tucked into the down
of crow night’s breast
but soft, quiet, unshining me
let me not fade with the stars at dawn
but breathing, linger a while longer
a dim Venus pressed against my love
eyes wide open
with the possibility of tomorrow

© Sarah Whiteley